Transport Watch - June 2011
Crossrail has announced a new implementation programme. Although EPTUG is disappointed that the dates are already slipping from the original plans, we must be grateful that the whole project has not fallen under the Governments' economy axe. However Crossrail is now asking for contributions to the station updates from local authorities, like Ealing.
The new Crossrail plans promise:
• December 2016: test running of new Crossrail trains from Liverpool Street to Shenfield by substituting Crossrail trains for some of the current stock.
• May 2018: Crossrail trains substituted for the Heathrow Connect trains but still run to and from Paddington Main Line station.
• December 2018: trains start running from Paddington (Crossrail) to Abbey Wood.
• May 2019: additional services from Paddington (Crossrail) to Shenfield commence.
• In December 2019 full services commence between Maidenhead/Heathrow and Abbey Wood/Shenfield.
Weekend cancellations on London Overground have now finished. There are now more trains between Richmond / Clapham Junction and Stratford.
There are increased services between:
• Richmond and Stratford
• Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction, with additional through services to and from Stratford.
Last month we reported that TfL claim there is no business case to stop Piccadilly Line trains at Turnham Green. Now they are planning to add an extra Ealing Broadway-bound District Line train to the timetable during the evening rush hour. We assume this starts in 2012 when they cut the Olympia peak hour service. So that's thanks to Turnham Green passengers for putting on the pressure.
New Bus for London
A New Bus for London (a successor to the popular Routemaster) is now on trial at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. The first buses should be in service early next year - but presumably not soon enough for the 207 route, whose bendy buses are due to be replaced in autumn this year.
Londons' Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy, addressed the London Omnibus Traction Society in April. He told the meeting that Transport for London's most recent Business Plan includes a four-year investment programme, notably in the Underground network, Crossrail, and transport for the Olympics. Even so, a saving of £7.6 billion over the four-year period and up to 2017/18 is planned, £460 million of it being saved in reduced bus subsidies. The current bus network is unlikely to see any alteration (this has been evident from recent consultation exercises, where almost all suggestions have been turned down). He highlighted that with the various cuts in the budget provisions, there would be "no new bus miles" this side of 2014. EPTUG will keep watch on this, as two routes (27 and E10) both still await extension to Chiswick Business Park at Gunnersbury. He also pointed out that only 1.4% of passengers now pay cash fares on buses (though this does not include those who still pay cash at roadside ticket machines).
Flying to work every day
"Must fly - need to get to work at Heathrow". It has recently been reported in the Daily Telegraph that the British Airports Authority (BAA) travel plan reveals that 1,713 of the airport's 76,000 employees (2.24%) fly to work. That’s more than double the number who cycle, and four times the number who get the Heathrow Express train. BAA says it is committed to climate change; so presumably it is trying to cut down on its flying commuters. It appears not: 2.38% flew to work in 2004. Its tough target for 2012? 2.38%. As a reason for high road fuel taxes is to deter car commuters, perhaps it is time for an increase in aviation fuel tax too!
Although our chairman John Beeston resigned recently (as reported in last week’s Ealing Gazette) EPTUG is still alive and kicking. The deputy chairman Richard Porter has taken over as chairman until the next AGM in November, and this monthly column will be put together by several members of the committee.